SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The creator of the tequila bottle inspired chessboard tabletop is Lt. Brandon Montgomery, a Supply Corps officer and Phoenix native. He won the "Art of Patron" art contest with his sculptural piece "Batalla de los Espiritus," June 27.
Imagine sitting across from your opponent, the only thing separating you is a silver and gold checkered board. In front of you, sit 32 clear, small bottles with hand-carved corks representing figures such as kings, queens, bishops and knights. A crystal clear etched-glass table top adorns the chessboard, held high by four empty tequila bottles.
The creator of the tequila bottle inspired chessboard tabletop is Lt. Brandon Montgomery, a Supply Corps officer and Phoenix native. He won the "Art of Patron" art contest with his sculptural piece "Batalla de los Espiritus," June 27.
"Art is my passion," said Montgomery, supply officer of Commander, Helicopter Strike Maritime Wing Pacific (CHSMWP). "When I'm not at work, I am constantly balancing my free time with my art career."
Montgomery is no stranger to the art community. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture.
According to Montgomery, this is the first time he has been able to showcase his art in a national, public forum.
Montgomery added that he wouldn't have known about the contest without a little help from a family member.
"My mother first told me about the contest," said Montgomery. "She has always supported my art career and was ecstatic when I told her I won."
Montgomery mentioned he went to more than 35 bars looking for empty tequila bottles that he could cut down and carve into the tabletop chessboard. He even rented specialized equipment to cut and mold the glass. For the corks, he hand-painted and carved them into chess pieces.
"I personally spent over 70 hours working on this piece," said Montgomery. "The exposure I received through this contest has given me the opportunity to be a part of a world-class label."
Montgomery's shipmates have also supported his passion of art.
"He's got a real talent," said Lt. Michael Agojo, assistant supply officer of CHSMWP and Charleston, S.C. native. "I have been pushing and pushing for him to get his artwork published. He loves art; it's his passion. It's great for him and his art career to win this contest."
For winning first place, Montgomery won a total of $11,000. He said he plans on giving a portion to his mother and the rest will go toward supporting future art projects.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacensandiego/.